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For ease of navigation, we provide links to specific sections here, but we encourage you to read the entire document.

The heart of EarthCube is people. We put people first and do our best to recognize, appreciate, and respect the diversity of our global contributors. EarthCube welcomes contributions from everyone who shares our interests and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner within our community.

Image by Nicholas Swanson

In order to help us create a safe and positive community experience we have adopted these Community Participation Guidelines, and we require all those who participate to agree and adhere to these guidelines. The EarthCube Community Participation Guidelines describe expected behaviors and responsibilities for an individual, group, or organization when involved with EarthCube activities.


These guidelines aim to support a community where all people feel safe to participate, introduce new ideas, and inspire others, regardless of:

  • Background

  • Family status

  • Marital status

  • Gender

  • Gender identity or expression

  • Sex

  • Sexual orientation

  • Native language

  • Age

  • Ability 

  • Race and/or ethnicity

  • Caste and/or social hierarchy

  • National origin, including immigration status

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Religion

  • Geographic location

  • Educational background, discipline, or specialization

  • Any other dimension of diversity


Openness, collaboration, and participation are core aspects of our work. Diversity enriches our community, and we actively seek participation from those who increase it. These guidelines exist to further empower individuals and groups to interact and collaborate for mutual benefit.

Section 1 — When to Use These Guidelines

These guidelines outline our behavior expectations as members of the EarthCube community in all EarthCube activities, both offline and online. Your continued participation is contingent upon following these guidelines in all EarthCube activities. These activities include but are not limited to:

  • Working with EarthCube community participants and EarthCube staff members virtually or co-located.

  • Participating in EarthCube Meetings.

  • Representing EarthCube at public events.

  • Representing EarthCube in social media (official accounts, staff accounts, Facebook pages).

  • Participating in EarthCube-related forums, mailing lists, wikis, websites, Slack channels, GitHub issues, group or person-to-person meetings, and EarthCube-related correspondence.

  • Working in any other EarthCube spaces 

While these guidelines are specifically aimed at EarthCube’s work and community, we recognize that actions taken outside of EarthCube’s online or in-person spaces could impact community health. For example, actions taken outside of EarthCube’s spaces by an EarthCube community member against another EarthCube community member may warrant corrective measures as detailed later in this document (Section 4).

Section 1
Section 2  — Expected Behavior


EarthCube provides opportunities to acquire and exchange knowledge across communities. We each share the responsibility to serve as models for meeting behavioral expectations.  

The following behaviors are expected of all EarthCube community participants.  These are the broad standards we hold ourselves to within the community.  Specific behaviors that EarthCube is capable of directly responding to are detailed in Section 3. Unacceptable behavior should be reported (see Section 5) as this assists in correcting and addressing unwelcome behavior, and can help establish a pattern of unacceptable behaviors or an unwelcoming community culture. 

Be Respectful

Value each other’s ideas, styles, and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. Be open to different possibilities, different viewpoints and to being wrong. Be respectful in all interactions and communications, especially when debating the merits of different options. Be aware of your impact and how intense interactions may affect people. Be direct, constructive, and positive. Take responsibility for your impact and your mistakes – if someone says they have been harmed through your words or actions, listen carefully, apologize sincerely, and correct the behavior going forward.

Be Clear, Professional, and Considerate

We are likely to have some discussions about criticisms that are respectful and those that are not. We must be able to speak clearly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We cannot withhold hard truths. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and clear, as well as respectful and considerate.

Be Inclusive

Recognize that certain voices have been excluded from conversations, and that inclusion is an important component of equity, therefore actively seek diverse perspectives. Diverse views on teams power innovation, even if diversity is not always comfortable. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives be heard and listen actively. Be aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. Provide alternative ways to contribute or participate when possible.

Be inclusive of everyone in an interaction, respecting and facilitating people’s participation whether they are:

  • Remote (on video or phone)

  • Not native language speakers

  • Coming from a different culture

  • Using pronouns other than “he” or “she”

  • Living in a different time zone

  • Facing other challenges to participate

Think about how you might facilitate alternative ways to contribute or participate. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, step back. Be an advocate for others’ voices. Make way for other voices and listen actively to them.

For example, consider venue and inclusiveness. Setting informal meetings in bars or meeting for ‘Happy Hour’ may not be a safe setting for all members of the community. Consider other models, such as a meal or utilizing a professional meeting setting. Standing receptions (including poster sessions) with belly bars or high top tables or no seating only are not inclusive nor accessible to people who are differently abled.

Understand Different Perspectives

Our goal should not be to “win” every disagreement or argument.  A more productive goal is to be open to ideas that make our own ideas better. Strive to be an example for inclusive thinking. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.

Appreciate and Accommodate Our Similarities and Differences

EarthCube community participants come from many cultures and backgrounds. Cultural differences encompass everything from official religious observances, to personal habits, to clothing and more. Be respectful of people with different cultural practices, attitudes, and beliefs. Work to eliminate your own biases, prejudices, and discriminatory practices, and act as an advocate for others. Think of others’ needs from their points of view. Appreciate that tone of voice and conflict responses may differ across cultural backgrounds. Use preferred titles (including pronouns). Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to their cultural background,  personal beliefs, and social expression. It is unrealistic to expect EarthCube community participants to know the cultural practices of every ethnic and cultural group, but participants are expected to be open to learning from and educating others as well as educating themselves. 

Lead by Example

By matching your actions with your words, you become a person others want to follow. Your actions influence others to behave and respond in ways that are valuable and appropriate for our organizational outcomes. Design your community and your work for inclusion. Hold yourself and others accountable for inclusive behaviors. Make decisions based on the highest good for EarthCube’s Mission.

Section 2
Section 3  — Behaviors That Will Not Be Tolerated


The following behaviors are considered to be unacceptable under these guidelines.  While this section details specific behaviors, it should also be clear that patterns of disruptive or offending behavior are also permissive to report.

Violence and Threats of Violence

Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable - online or offline. These include incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm. These also include posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifiable information (“doxxing”) online.


Personal Attacks

Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean, or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs, and ideas is not acceptable. It is important to speak clearly when we disagree and when we think, as a community, we need to improve. Such discussions must be conducted respectfully and professionally, remaining focused on the issue at hand.

Derogatory Language

Hurtful or harmful language is not acceptable related to:

  • Background

  • Family status

  • Marital status

  • Gender

  • Gender identity or expression

  • Sex

  • Sexual orientation

  • Native language

  • Age

  • Ability 

  • Race and/or ethnicity

  • Caste and/or social hierarchy

  • National origin, including immigration status

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Religion

  • Geographic location

  • Educational background, discipline, or specialization

  • Any other dimension of diversity


For example, deliberately referring to someone by a gender that they do not identify with, and/or questioning the legitimacy of an individual’s gender identity is considered harmful language. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. Subtle and/or indirect discrimination is also considered hurtful or harmful language; when asked to stop, stop the behavior in question.

Unwelcome Sexual Attention or Physical Contact

Unwelcome sexual attention or unwelcome physical contact is not acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Sexualized comments, jokes, or imagery in interactions, communications, or presentation materials.

  • Inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual advances, including touching a person without permission and touching sensitive areas such as their hair, pregnant stomach, mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, etc.), or tattoos.

  • Physically blocking or intimidating another person.

  • Physical contact or simulated physical contact (such as emojis like “kiss”) without affirmative (explicit) consent.

  • Sharing or distribution of sexualized images or text.

  • Unwelcome actions that serve to physically or socially isolate an individual.

Disruptive Behavior

Sustained disruption of events, forums, or meetings, including talks and presentations, will not be tolerated. This includes:

  • ‘Talking over’ or ‘heckling’ speakers.

  • Drinking alcohol to excess or using recreational drugs to excess, or pushing others to do so.

  • Making derogatory comments about those who abstain from alcohol or other substances, talking about their abstinence or preferences to others, or pressuring them to partake - physically or through jeering.

  • Otherwise influencing crowd actions that cause hostility in the session.



Intentional efforts to exclude people from EarthCube activities (except as a consequence of these guidelines or other official action) are not acceptable. 


Influencing Unacceptable Behaviors

We treat influencing or leading unacceptable behaviors the same way we treat the unacceptable behaviors themselves. Thus, the same consequences (Section 4) apply.

Section 3
Section 4  — Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any EarthCube community participant, including those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated. 

Reports of harassment/discrimination will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the people responsible for the safety of the space, event, or activity (See Section 7). Appropriate measures will be taken to address the situation.

Anyone being asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Violation of these guidelines can result in (1) being asked to leave an event or online space, either temporarily or for the duration of the event; (2) being banned from participation in spaces or in future events and activities in perpetuity; or (3) other actions as determined necessary by the EarthCube leader(s) involved in the review. Refunds for any participation fees may or may not be made, at the discretion of the EarthCube leader(s) involved. 

In addition, any participants who abuse the reporting process (Section 5) will be considered to be in violation of these guidelines and subject to the same consequences. False reporting, especially to retaliate or exclude, will not be accepted or tolerated.

Section 4
Section 5  — Reporting
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We encourage you to report incidents where someone has engaged in behavior that is potentially illegal or makes you or someone else feel unsafe, unwelcome, or uncomfortable as explained in these guidelines. Note that intentional false reports will be considered a violation of these guidelines, but reports made in good faith will not have negative consequences to the person making the report. 

If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior, you may ask the person to stop their unacceptable behavior. You should also contact relevant authorities (for example, event security, emergency medical services) as you feel necessary. However, you are not obligated to take these actions prior to making a report.

If you believe you have experienced or are experiencing unacceptable behavior as outlined in Section 3, please submit a report.


If you feel you have been unfairly accused of violating these guidelines, please follow the same reporting process. Acts of retaliation should also be reported via the same process as described above.

If unacceptable behavior occurs in relation to NSF-funded activities, there may be additional resources available for reporting and redress. Please refer to NSF’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion for more information.

Section 5
Section 6  — Ask questions


Everyone is encouraged to ask questions about these guidelines. If you are organizing an event or activity, reach out for tips on building inclusion for your event, activity or space. Your input is welcome and you will always get a response if you reach out to

Section 6
Section 7  —  Contacts at EarthCube Spaces and Events


Conveners of EarthCube events are requested to speak about these guidelines at the start of an event, so that participants are reminded of their responsibility to abide by the guidelines. Participants should be asked to review and agree to these guidelines when they sign up for an event. 

EarthCube events will have emergency contacts designated for each event. These contacts will be posted prominently throughout the event, and in print and online materials. 

Each physical or virtual EarthCube space shall have a designated contact. If not otherwise stated, the session lead and any EarthCube staff present shall be considered the designated contact(s).

Section 7
Section 8  — Modifications to these guidelines


EarthCube may amend these guidelines from time to time and may also vary the procedures it sets out where appropriate in a particular case. Material modifications to these guidelines will be announced via the monthly EarthCube News email, on the EarthCube website, and through other appropriate channels.


Continued participation in EarthCube events and spaces, after an announcement of material changes, would indicate your agreement to these changes.

Section 8
Section 9  — License and attribution

This document and all associated processes are only possible with the hard work of many, many EarthCube Community Participants.

This set of guidelines is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

These guidelines have been modified from ESIP’s Community Participation Guidelines, which were based on Mozilla’s Community Participation Guidelines.  


Adopted by the EarthCube Leadership Council on behalf of the EarthCube Community on April 7, 2021

Citation: Hills, Denise J.; Prodanović, Maša; Stamps, D. Sarah; Njinju, Emmanuel, A.; Goring, Simon, J.; Diggs, Stephen (2022). Community Participation Guidelines. In EarthCube Organization Materials. UC San Diego Library Digital Collections.

Section 9
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